A Glassdoor analysis of more than 130,000 of the site’s reviews posted by U.S. interns found that 70% of interns mentioned remote work negatively. The latest finding is a far cry from American workers who want to continue working remotely.
According to Glassdoor, half of all internship opportunities were canceled at the height of the outbreak last year. The ones that weren’t canceled were virtual, while some were unpaid. According to a study from the University of Wisconsin-Center Madison’s for Research on College-Workforce Transitions, just 22% of students stated they had an internship during the school year by spring 2021, and only half of those said it was in-person.
The fact that all of the students who didn’t receive an internship last year were applying at the same time as students who would ordinarily be searching for internships this year — and there were fewer of them to go around — heightened the competition for internships.
Clearly, the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic had a mixed effect on internships. While some companies switched to a virtual, off-site structure, others postponed or canceled internships entirely.
This was evident in companies that chose to continue their internship programs virtually and ran into internal resource limits while juggling with the demand to support staff and interns remotely at the same time.
‘Return-to-office’ talks may already be a contentious matter for interns. Industry observers are of the belief that during the last two years an increasing number of interns missed out on essential social ties that in-person work provides.
Many 2020 graduates graduated from high school and into a world of work in upheaval, with few career opportunities. Companies canceled internships or put a freeze on hiring, which resulted in some people losing their jobs. Most importantly, many young professionals say they realized they were missing out when their office was their bedroom’s four walls. They wished they had more opportunities to socialize with their coworkers on a daily basis, both to establish camaraderie and to find mentors.
A change is coming as plenty of stakeholders have given their opinions on the trend to remote internships.
Microsoft has announced that their 2022 internships “will be built for in-person and virtual interactions” while allowing interns to co-create their experiences, after the debut of a virtual program in April 2020.
However, some companies have used established systems to retain cultural norms and facetime in virtual internships. Interns may be able to work in the same setting as their peers thanks to readily available technological platforms.